“I’m new to this town” vs. “I’m new in this town”

I’m new to this town.

I’m new in this town.

What’s the difference between the two sentences meaning-wise?


When you are new to something, you are a beginner at it. So to say that you are new to this town means that the town is something to be learned. You are just learning about the town and its ways, only beginning to acquire the knowledge and skills required to make your way in the town, to be a success there.

A singer might say of Nashville:

I’m new to this town.

and thereby mean that there are things a singer must learn in order to succeed in Nashville.

A newly elected member of the House of Representatives might say of Washington DC:

I’m new to this town.

and mean much the same thing.

When we are new in a place, we are newly arrived there.

P.S. to can impart to “new” the connotations of “inexperience” by virtue of the fact that the collocation new to is very frequently used in contexts where the speaker wants to express not merely the idea of novelty but the idea of novice or neophyte.

She was new to archery.

She was new to programming.

Elected to her first term, she was new to politics.

Those endeavors are not merely novelties for her; she is a beginner at them.

She was new to the big city.

The pattern puts “the big city” in the semantic role of “thing-to-be-learned”.

P.P.S. Consider that we would not say:

She was new to the taste. unidiomatic or marginal at best


The taste was new to her.

P.P.P.S. But that is not to say that new to the taste is impossible. Consider a discussion of so-called “acquired tastes”, tastes that most people don’t like but some come to enjoy.

You’re new to the taste. Sure, it smells putrid and is covered with strange-looking mold. But give it time. You may come to like it.

Source : Link , Question Author : Soumya Ghosh , Answer Author : Tᴚoɯɐuo

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